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Summary Article: Kaufman, Gerald Bernard
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

British centre-left Labour Party politician and a long-serving member of Parliament 1970–2017. Described as a moderate, in the 1980s he opposed the influence of the left-wing of the party. He joined former prime minister Harold Wilson's staff in the mid-1960s and was a junior minister throughout the Labour governments of the 1970s. From 1983 to 1992 he held positions in the Labour shadow cabinet. A strong supporter of Tony Blair's reforms, he served as chair of the Commons culture, media, and sport select committee 1997–2005.

Kaufman was elected member of Parliament for Ardwick in 1970 (having unsuccessfully contested seats in 1955 and 1959) and represented the Manchester Gorton constituency 1983–2017. He served as a junior minister in the Department of the Environment 1974–75 and then the Department of Industry until 1979. In opposition he became shadow environmental secretary 1980–83, shadow home secretary 1983–87, and shadow foreign secretary 1987–1992. He was a member of Labour's National Executive Committee 1991–92, before his return to the parliamentary backbenches after the 1992 general election.

Kaufman was born in Leeds, and studied at Queen's College, Oxford where he gained a masters degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. Before his parliamentary career, he was assistant general secretary of the Fabian Society, a member of the political staff of the Daily Mirror newspaper, and political correspondent of the New Statesman. From 1965 he was press liaison officer for the Labour Party. He was awarded a knighthood in 2004.

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